Whether you prefer your Starbucks coffee in a straightforward fashion or gussied up with syrups and such, it’s important to consider the amount of caffeine you’re consuming. Of course, a strong dose of caffeine may be exactly what you’re looking for — after all, who can blame a busy parent for needing a little pick-me-up? If the buzz is calling your name, we have you covered. Here are 14 Starbucks beverages that pack a serious punch when it comes to caffeine!
First Things First: What is Caffeine?
Before we launch into our list of Starbucks drinks that will put some pep in your step, let's break down caffeine a bit. From a technical standpoint, it's found naturally in many plants (over 60!), but it can also be formulated in a lab and infused into culinary and medicinal products.
You likely already know it's a chemical stimulant that affects a significant portion of your body — including your central nervous system, heart, and muscles. In moderation, it is considered safe by the FDA, but it's important to understand what “moderation” truly means here. Of course, this largely depends on the type of coffee you drink and the strength of your brew, but on average, an eight-ounce cup of your morning java has approximately 95 milligrams of caffeine. On the other hand, an equally sized cup of decaffeinated coffee is around 4 milligrams. For comparison purposes, a shot of espresso has roughly 65 milligrams of caffeine.
Healthy adults are advised not to exceed a daily consumption of 400 milligrams of caffeine, which is the equivalent of four eight-ounce cups of coffee. For the purposes of our list, we're mostly comparing the caffeine content in 16-ounce (grande) Starbucks beverages. However, in some cases, the drink is served in a different size based on the amount of liquid.
Red Eye: 158 mg
Made with drip coffee and one shot of espresso, this popular drink is a go-to for those looking for an energy boost. However, it's worth noting that its equally popular counterpart, the Black Eye has a significantly higher dose of caffeine!
Iced Coffee: 165 mg
A grande Starbucks iced coffee has more caffeine than you might think, considering it only consists of coffee and ice. Whether or not you add milk, flavored syrups, or any other customizable option, an iced coffee remains one of the most caffeine-concentrated drinks on the regular menu.
Espresso Frappuccino: 165 mg
An iced blended drink, the Espresso Frappuccino is coffee mixed with a shot of espresso, milk, and ice, then put in a blender.
Caffe Mocha: 175 mg
This beverage is a combination of espresso, bittersweet mocha sauce, and steamed milk. It is often topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Flat White: 195 mg
Milk is steamed to create a creamy foam that is then poured over espresso. The espresso rises to the top of the cup, leaving a rich coffee with a mildly sweet flavor.
Cold Brew: 205 mg
According to the official Starbucks website, the cold brewing method involves combining cool water with coarse ground coffee and steeping the mixture for 20 hours. This process extracts the coffee and results in a cold coffee concentrate. It's then mixed with water and ice.
Black Eye: 221 mg
Like the Red Eye, this drink is made with drip coffee and espresso — but in this case, there are two shots of the latter.
Iced Shaken Espresso: 225 mg
An Iced Shaken Espresso consists of three espresso shots, milk, and simple syrup in a grande cup.
Caffé Americano: 225 mg
A grande Americano has three shots of espresso diluted with hot water.
Liquid Cocaine: 256 mg
Whether you’ve heard rumors of a Harry Potter-inspired Frappuccino or wondered how to find the new hot chocolate iteration you saw during a scroll down the Tik Tok rabbit hole, it likely comes as no surprise that Starbucks offers a “secret menu” that you have to be in-the-know to order from. While you won't find an official record of this menu (nor should you expect your Starbucks barista to know how to make the drinks without a little help), it's fun to add a few of the drinks to your repertoire — particularly when they have a heavy dose of caffeine like the “Liquid Cocaine.”
Consisting of four espresso shots, four pumps of white chocolate syrup, and ice, this beverage is nothing but sugar and caffeine.
Dark Roast Brewed Coffee: 260 mg
Perhaps surprisingly, a grande dark roast has less caffeine than either the medium or blonde roast … in the same-sized cup!
Nitro Cold Brew: 280 mg
A 16-ounce (grande) Nitro Cold Brew is highly leaded. The beverage is made from the Starbucks signature Cold Brew, which is then infused with nitrogen. That infusion creates “microbubbles,” giving it a creamy, frothy texture.
Medium Roast Brewed Coffee, Pike Place: 310 mg
Not far behind the top-ranking Starbucks caffeine “culprit,” a grande cup of Medium Roast Brewed Coffee offers quite an impact.
Blonde Roast Brewed Coffee: 360 mg
Whew! And this is in a grande! For all the espresso concoctions at Starbucks, the Blonde Roast Brewed Coffee remains the most caffeine-concentrated cup of java you can get. Get ready to buzz like a neon sign!
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